Discover Your Customers with Discovery Suite

As the significance of customer knowledge grows in today's rapidly evolving e-society, more companies are facing problems associated with the lengthy process of deploying traditional analytics applications.

Digital Archaeology's applications aim to end that waiting game by offering accelerated analytics tools that take just days--even hours--to implement.

The suite can instantly link disparate data sources, processing large data sets without predefined data structures or types--the key to the system's rapid deployment capabilities. It works through Digital Archaeology's patent-pending X-Set architecture, which follows the pattern of the modern CPU-processing bytes in sequence. "That architecture allows us to eliminate the need to predefine schema or data types or worry about any other kind of legacy systems," Digital Archaeology CEO David Frankland says.

The company's Discovery Suite is an analytical applications development platform that is supported on Microsoft Windows NT and Unix operating systems. The system acts as a knowledge finder, and its components include the following:

• Digital Archaeology Server, an adaptive, self-optimizing database into which data can be instantly loaded from a variety of sources, including operational and legacy data and third-party providers

• Digital Explorer, a query and mining tool that uses a graphical "drag and drop" interface to give users advanced analytical capabilities

• netDiscovery Explorer, a customizable Web-based query tool that gives corporate users access to Discovery Suite and enables "Drill Anywhere" analysis so that users can examine data in any direction

• Digital Archeology Report Server, which automatically schedules recurring or off-hour report generation activities in printed or HTML page format

• Digital Activator, which gives IT specialists, system integrators and consultants a set of data quality and transformation extensions useful in the development of large-scale data warehouse solutions

Digital Archaeology also offers c-Discovery, a Web-based analytical application that links e-commerce data with customer information from all channels. Described as Discovery Suite's knowledge distribution tool, c-Discovery can be customized to an organization's business rules.

Put together, the system allows e-businesses to identify, maintain and improve customer relationships across all channels. "We offer a comprehensive, just-in-time view of customer behavior and preferences not only across e-commerce channels but across traditional or any other touchpoint," Frankland says.

c-Discovery delivers in-depth, integrated customer behavior analysis, including segmentation, demographics, shopping and purchase behavior and advertising and promotion effectiveness.

The benefits of the system, Frankland says, are speed of implementation, depth of analysis and flexibility. He notes that Discovery Suite-based applications can adapt instantly to changes in the business environment, an important factor in selecting a solution for a changing market.

iTravel is an Overland Park, Kan.-based online business travel provider that has been using Discovery Suite and c-Discovery for about two months. In searching for a way to manage data systems better, a problem the organization discovered "was that we had all our data on various databases and it was impossible to bring it all together," says Fred Cornwell, iTravel's vice president of finance. The company chose Digital Archaeology to integrate its data.

The suite of programs now allows iTravel to analyze its customer data, but also to keep its business partners apprised of organizational data, as well as share key metrics with all players in the organization. Business partners and others can log on to a Web page specifically created by Digital Archaeology and track iTravel's key metrics on a real-time basis, Cornwell says, as well as mine data.

The software is helping highlight areas within iTravel that could use improvement, Cornwell says, and the system is easy to use. Implementation was a "day or two," he says. "Within a week we had people up and running on it, and six weeks later, we're experts."

He expects a "huge return on investment" from the system. "It's going to take me from needing a small army of people to do data-mining to where just a couple of individuals are going to be able to scale the organization," he says. "And more importantly, versus the actual ROI on the software, it's going to refocus me as a manger toward the most important things in the organization."

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